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Red Hat Society International Convention August 2-5, 2018

Jenny Joseph Biography

Jenny Joseph is the author of the beloved poem "Warning," that inspired the initiation of the Red Hat Society. She was born on May 7th, 1932 in Birmingham, England, and is regarded today as one of the United Kingdom's greatest living poets.

Joseph studied English Literature at St. Hilda's College in Oxford, and went on to become a journalist in South Africa to write for the Bedfordshire Times and several other publications in Johannesburg. In 1972, she began teaching English as a second language at West London College. After several years of teaching at the college level, Joseph co-authored several children's books.

Her first collection of poetry was published in 1960, and her poem about growing old, entitled "Warning," was published in 1961. A BBC poll found this poem to be the most popular poem of the 20th century, and the UK's most popular post-war poem. Because of her popularity, she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and in 1995 was awarded a traveling scholarship by the Society of Authors and the Forward Poetry Prize. Her poem "Warning" can be found in her 1974 collection "Rose In the Afternoon" and the "Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse."

Her contribution to the Red Hat Society is immeasurable, as her poem "Warning" inspired many of the ideas that made the proclaimed "dis-organization" what it is today. The poem, which is a witty look at growing old, brought about the regalia and credo of Red Hatters everywhere.

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Two Red Hatters Decked Out in Red
Two Red Hat Ladies Dressed to the Nines
Four Red Hatters Enjoying the Beach
Red Hatters Living it Up at a Pajama Party
Two Red Hat Ladies Dressed to the Nines
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